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Task-based exposure assessment of hazards associated with new residential construction.

Methner MM; McKernan JL; Dennison JL
Appl Occup Environ Hyg 2000 Nov; 15(11):811-819
Estimates of the number of workers employed in the construction industry range from six to eight million.(1) However, these estimates include all workers engaged in the many different facets of construction (e.g., commercial buildings, highway, etc.). Of particular interest is the new residential construction industry, classi. ed as Standard Industrial Classi. cation (SIC) Code 1521. This interest stems from the fact that virtually no exposure data exists for workers employed in this sector of the industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the construction industry leads all other industries in the number of occupational injuries and illnesses.(2,3) The average employment in the residential building construction industry in 1998 was 708,000 with an incidence rate of 7.6 total cases of occupational injuries and illnesses.(2) These rates are based on employer injury and illness logs which may be influenced by changes in economic activity, working conditions and work practices, worker experience and training, and number of hours worked. In the past, research to identify occupational hazards associated with construction work has been conducted primarily in the general construction sector of this diverse industry.(4) Hence, workers involved in residential construction have been understudied. This may be due, in part, to the fact that most of the residential construction work is performed by small subcontractors who employ nonunion workers. National survey data suggest that smaller contractors have greater fatal injury rates but lower nonfatal injury rates when compared to larger contractors. (2) Since subcontractors who often do not have health and safety programs comprise a large portion of all contractors engaged in residential construction, the need for hazard identification and task-based exposure assessment studies specific to this industry becomes very clear. (4)
Occupational health; Exposure assessment; Occupational hazards; Construction; Construction industry; Construction workers; Injuries; Statistical analysis; Epidemiology; Road construction; Accident rates; Accident statistics
Publication Date
Document Type
Journal Article
Greife A
Fiscal Year
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NIOSH Division
Source Name
Applied Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
Page last reviewed: June 15, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division